In the pursuit of protecting trainee health workers from vulnerability to the Covid19 scourge, authorities at Catholic-run St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane have called for the self-isolation of student nurses whose tutor tested positive to the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday this week.

According to acting Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani, contact tracing is now underway in a bid to ascertain the actual number of the students who may have had contact with the positive case and establish the source of the case.

Dr Padingani said no lessons had taken place at St Luke’s as the students were only engaging in small group discussions amid rife suspicion that the latest case may have been imported from Bulawayo.

The PMD also added that the on–going contact tracing is set to establish the number of students who were on site and had contact with the infected nursing tutor.
He further quipped that the current scenario was not going to affect hospital services that include the outpatients and maternity wards at St Luke’s.

“It is true and the tutor has been isolated although she is asymptomatic. For now we can’t tell how many students had contact with her but tracing is underway on those who have been doing discussions at the school. So, we will only know how many may have been affected after the process is completed,” Dr Padingani told state media.

Sources at the Catholic Church run institution told the Chronicle that about 12 students were told to self-isolate at the students’ quarters.

“She is a tutor and does not go to patients hence everyone else is safe. Our tutors visit Bulawayo most of the time and the case may have come from there. Lupane is generally quiet as we are no longer getting cases. We are doing contact tracing,” explained Dr Padingani.

He said the province has a cumulative number of 145 cases to date since the outbreak of the pandemic on March 20, including 139 recoveries and three deaths.

There are three active cases in the province, two in Hwange and one in Lupane.

state media